Hand routered cedar sign, made mostly by my 5 yr old son

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Project by tooldad posted 12-22-2009 05:00 AM 2339 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My son starts school an hour after I do, but I lucked out and have 2nd hour planning time so I am able to walk him up to school. Where I teach and his school are on the same campus, lucky for us. Anyways, he sits through my freshman class which at the end of the first semester, they make hand routered signs. My son has really taking a liking to these and wanted to try it for himself. So we decided to make one for his teacher and one for his grandpa. The grandpa one will be posted after christmas, just in case!

I already owned a nice dremel tool and I knew that there was a router base attachment for it. I didn’t really think a 5 year old was ready for a full size porter cable router just yet. After purchasing the router base, go figure, my dremel is too new or not the right type for the router base. So now back to the store to get another dremel. After setting it up, I am glad I have 2 separate dremels. It is not difficult, just tedius, and this one is dedicated to the router base.

All I can say is his eye-hand coordination is pretty good, and he has impressed the freshman students in my class.

For those that want to know how I do this, here goes:

I make a pattern using word and make it half the length that I want it to be on the sign and half the height. I then take it to the copier at school and 200% it onto 11×17 paper. We use 8×18 pieces of wood so that it fits just right on the board. I use old fashioned carbon paper (it is a sign of the times when my students don’t know that carbon paper is – or am I just getting old?) and transfer the pattern to the board.

Router out the pattern using choice of a round nose, straight, or a v-groove bit. Paint the letter and design, then send it through the planer to shave off the top layer or sand it off with 60 grit sandpaper if I feel the planer would break off narrow pieces. It is then finished with spray on lacquer.

9 comments so far

View griff's profile


1207 posts in 4840 days

#1 posted 12-22-2009 05:09 AM

He did a great job on the sign. he may be the next great sign maker.

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 4798 days

#2 posted 12-22-2009 05:17 AM

Alright!! Looks great!

-- christopheralan

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1595 posts in 4330 days

#3 posted 12-22-2009 05:35 AM

Your 5 year old done a awesome job. My neigbors kids are around that age and they can’t stay in the line to color a coloring book. I am very impress. Wonderfull job.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4963 days

#4 posted 12-22-2009 05:55 AM


-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View drfixit's profile


318 posts in 4222 days

#5 posted 12-22-2009 06:17 AM

I couldnt do that well in jr high school wood shop…. so I think its GREAT!!!

-- I GIVE UP!!!! I've cut this @!&*!% board 3 times.... its still too short!

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4508 days

#6 posted 12-22-2009 07:30 AM

Fantastic job! Very talented young man. That Dremel router is just the right size for him. I use mine for finer detail work because it feels like a toy. With his smaller size it is just perfect.

Spending time with the kids/grand kids is allway the best time.

Keep it up.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 4176 days

#7 posted 12-22-2009 03:30 PM

What a great accomplishment.
You have to be proud.
Bring back the shop classes!!!!!!!!!!!!!

View Rasta's profile


120 posts in 4520 days

#8 posted 12-22-2009 04:05 PM

Perhaps your son will be the next member of lumberjocks?

-- Roscoe in Iowa

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12825 posts in 4235 days

#9 posted 04-13-2010 03:54 AM

very difficult to believe this was crafted by a 5 year old…. looks great… congrats to both of you, looking forward to seeing his projects when he gets older!

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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